Dr Vickram Sahai
Dr Rati Oberoi
Assistant Professor (S.S.)
- Satvik Shukla (B.Tech – Electronics Engineering: 2nd Year)
- Tanisha Gupta (B.Tech – Electronics Engineering: 2nd Year)
- Ritika Raj (B.Tech – Computer Science with Specialization in Oil & Gas Informatics: 3rd Year)
- Aatreyee Dhar (B. Tech – Computer Science with specialization in IT Infrastructure: 3rd Year)
The soul of India lives in its villages, this was the observation made by father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, many years ago. India is a country where nearly two-thirds of its people reside in villages. But this rural and urban population distribution pattern of India is witnessing a change where the urban population and land use is consistently increasing. As is with most of the Indian states, a considerable proportion of Uttarakhand’s population also resides in the rural areas. It is primarily a rural state, having 16,826 villages, with a considerable proportion of its population residing in the hilly rural areas. The hill areas offer tough working and living conditions for its inhabitants. These areas do not provide conducive terrains for the establishment of small-scale industries (vis-à-vis handicraft industries or cottage industries) to generate employment and other sources of income, due to which the people here opt for agriculture and the other activities associated with it. The state is currently witnessing a brew, which is socio-economic, .i.e. “Intra-State Migration” of the youth from the hilly areas to the cities. Of the total number of villages, 12,699 or 81% have a population of less than 500. Of the 13 districts in Uttarakhand, most of the districts, more than 75-85 % of rural settlements have a population of less than 500. Only 17 % of the rural settlements have a population ranging between 500-1999 and the villages with population of 2000 or more are very rare (2.7 %). The continuously increasing population pressure on land and the poor agriculture status has led to widespread migration. However, migration is not new to the state of Uttarakhand but the current picture, which is very unfavorable, has made it a frontline issue. The Census of 2011, show that out of Uttarakhand’s 16,793 villages, 1053 have no inhabitants turning them into “Ghost Villages” and another 405 have a population of less than 10 (Venkatesh S, 2016).The migration is so substantial that the economy of the state is termed as money order economy. Lack of basic infrastructure, limited communication, income disparities, religious persecution, desire for better life drive people out of hill areas to the cities. This ensues barren landholdings, reduced labor force, underdevelopment, ghost villages, food insecurity, economic loss etc. The workers engaged in agriculture face many ordeals due to the adverse environmental and geographical configuration of these areas. This has led to poor agricultural conditions marked by problems of poor technology, lack of irrigation facilities and poor land/landholdings etc. Due to the migration of men to the cities which further increases the adversities on women, which are not only confined to the boundaries of domestic chores but also their roles have expanded to such an extent that they have become the backbone of the economy. This is further reflected in the growing literacy rate, awareness level and political indulgence among them. The problem of migration is crucial from the strategic point, too, as out of the 625km. long international border, 350 km. is shared with China and another 293km. is shared with Nepal, i.e, of the 13 districts of Uttarakhand, five are border districts constituting 47% of the area.A well-articulated strategy and effective implementation of already existing policies is fundamental to elevate the levels of development in rural sectors, thus plummeting the levels of migration. Setting up SEZs (Special Economic Zones) in rural areas with the availability of the raw material and labor, employment through MGNREGS, skill training through NSDCs, encouraging agricultural diversification like horticulture, organic farming, medical tourism, infrastructure development etc. can accelerate development in countryside areas and prove crucial in minimizing migration.